Weekly News Roundup

My last post before I leave for my Asian trip…I’ll be back in July!

Cosan and Amyris in green base oil JV

Brazilian sugar producer Cosan and US-based renewable chemical company Amyris has formed a new company called Novvi S.A. based in Brazil, which will develop, produce and market renewable base oils made from Amyris’ farnesene molecule Biofene. The base oils are said to have performance characteristics comparable to petroleum-based Group III and Group IV base oils.

LanzaTech partners with Mitsui

New Zealand-based LanzaTech will introduce its proprietary gas fermentation technology throughout the Mitsui Group and concurrently execute a separate deal with Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems Ltd – Mitsui’s engineered plants business group.

Rhodia and Umicore in rare earth recycling

Umicore and Rhodia have jointly developed a unique process for the recycling of rare earth elements (REE) from Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries. The process will enable the recovery of rare earths from NiMH batteries that will be treated at Umicore’s new battery recycling plant in Hoboken. After the separation of the nickel and iron from the rare earths, Umicore will process the rare earths into a high grade concentrate that will be refined and formulated into rare earth materials at Rhodia’s plant in La Rochelle (France).

Spolchemie to expand glycerine-to-ECH capacity

Spolchemie based in Czech Republic will expand its glycerine-to-epichlorohydrin capacity from 24,000 tonnes/year to 28-30,000 tonnes/year through debottlenecking. The project is expected to be complete by April 2012.

SynGest picks Honeywell in bio-ammonia project

Honeywell has been selected to help SynGest Inc. design a proposed first-of-its-kind processing facility that will produce ammonia from biomass. The southwest-Iowa plant will process as much as 400 tons of biomass each day to produce nitrogen fertilizer.

Solutia expands diphenyl oxide for solar market

Solutia is expanding its diphenyl oxide production capacity by more than 30% in Chocolate Bayou, Texas to help meet the increased demand including the high-growth concentrating solar power market. DPO is an essential ingredient used to manufacture their Therminol® VP-1 heat transfer fluid used for the solar industry. The expansion is expected to be complete by early 2012.

Cargill offers certified sustainable palm oil

Cargill said it is now offering palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to North American food manufacturers. RSPO certification for Cargill’s United States refineries follows its European and Malaysian operations, which were certified to offer RSPO products to food manufacturers in 2010.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

Renewable chem production to rise on environmental concerns.

Proposed legislation that would ban California food vendors from serving food in polystyrene foam containers starting in 2014 could harm the state’s economy and have unintended environmental consequences.

Danone is concerned about the weakening quality of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bales due to contamination.

BioAmber has named two possible sites for its new succinic acid plant in North America.

China bans sale of food products found to contain plasticiser.

US EPA discloses names of 150 previously confidential chemicals.

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